Who Do I Sue in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Knowing who to sue in a personal injury lawsuit is rarely a simple matter.  In a car accident case, for example, another driver might cause the accident. However, liability could also extend to the driver’s employer, the manufacturer of the defective vehicle, or some other party.

Naming the correct parties in your lawsuit is a critical factor in collecting the largest possible damages award to reimburse all of your expenses. If this has happened to you, call the Manhattan office of Douglas and London to confer with a New York City personal injury lawyer who can help you to identify the parties who might be responsible for your property damage and your injuries.

Which Parties Owe You a Duty of Care?

Everyone is required to act according to the same standards of caution and prudence that any reasonable person would follow. The defendants that you can sue in a personal injury lawsuit owed you this duty of care but failed to provide it– which led to your injuries. In any given situation, multiple parties could owe some level of duty of care. For example, a person trips on a construction tool and suffers an injury on another person’s property:

  • Both the property owner and the manager might owe a duty to keep the premises free and clear of known hazards.
  • A construction worker who carelessly left the equipment on the property might owe a similar duty.
  • That construction worker’s employer might owe a duty vicariously through an employment relationship.
  • Other parties who blocked a safer path and forced the injured victim to walk a more hazardous path could also be liable.

Why Is It Important to Determine Who to Sue in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The damages that you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit are typically paid by the negligent party’s liability insurers. If the person you sue does not have sufficient assets or insurance to reimburse you, you may not be able to recover the full amount. When you identify all of the parties who are potentially responsible, you improve your chances to receive compensation that will make you whole.

How Do You Designate the Possible Parties That You Might Sue in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer will name and designate the defendants in a personal injury lawsuit according to their legal status:

  • an individual defendant will be designated by their legal name.
  • a married couple might be named together.
  • a sole proprietorship business will be designated by the name of its owner “d/b/a” the business.
  • where a partnership is a defendant, the partnership and its individual members might be separately named.
  • corporate entities are named directly, and the lawsuit will be served on the corporation’s registered agent in New York State.
  • in car accident cases, the other drivers and the owners of the vehicles involved in the crash will be named as defendants.

What Happens if You Sue the Wrong Parties?

If you name the wrong parties in your personal injury lawsuit or you fail to name every party that may have some liability, those mistakes will delay the final resolution of your case and the recovery of damages. You are also risking a greater problem if you do not identify and sue the correct parties before the statute of limitations expires. Your attorney will avoid these problems by determining who to sue in your personal injury lawsuit. 

Contact us at Douglas and London for a free consultation

Please see our website or contact us in Manhattan to schedule a free consultation with us about which parties you can name as defendants in your lawsuit. We will bring your action against all potentially liable parties to improve your opportunity to recover the largest available damages award.


  1. www.findlaw.com: Who Do I Sue After a Car Accident? https://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/who-do-i-sue-after-a-car-accident.html
  2. www.nolo.com: Slip and Fall Accidents in Stores and Businesses. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/slip-fall-accidents-stores-businesses.html